GIDEON'S TIME

Author: Tony R. Stuckless, Spaniards Bay, NF, Canada, A0A 3X0. Drama written September 29th, 2001.

Author's Note: Perhaps the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has never been so relevant before as it is now in the wake of the recent New York and Washington terrorist's attacks. In times like these and in all times national pride and patriotism are never enough. We need Christ. We need to follow in His steps and work to make our world a kinder and safer place for every one. This drama is written solely for the glorification of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. I freely approve its use by any and all who wish to use it in God's name. It is not copyright protected. At the end of the drama you could finish with an altar call if appropriate. You have the author's permission to use the drama as often as you like, but please keep the focus of the message intact. God bless you. (By the way, I still have my Gideon's New Testament given to me in Grade 6. It is tired and worn out but I signed my name back then and, years later, when I found God again, I also found the Testament with my name still written there.)

Setting: A church or hall. The speaker will be waiting near the podium and will be introduced by clergy or someone else.

Characters: Someone to introduce the speaker (not necessary to be an actor) and the person delivering the drama. This person should be casually dressed and carry a worn Gideon's New Testament

Introduction to be read by person introducing the speaker: This is the story of one person's encounter with Christ. As you listen to the speaker try to imagine what it is like to be without hope and totally alone. Many people indeed live their lives just like this. Even surrounded by people, you can be totally alone and without hope. How do you get past a life with no hope? What can you do? What can other's do to reach out to those who live lives with no real hope? Open your heart and your ears to the speaker and allow yourself to feel and see what you hear. God bless you. (Sits down)

((Note: If you wish you could have a speaker read what follows off stage while an actor acts out the drama on stage using a hotel room set. ))

Speaker slowly rises and moves to the podium. Before talking he or she takes a long look around the congregation or audience, draws a deep breath, lays a very used New Testament on the podium and begins……

Hello. Where do you begin when you try to tell someone how much your life has been changed by a man who lived over 2 thousand years ago? What do you say? ( pause ).

I never attended church in my life and God or Jesus was something I said as a curse word. (Looks around the room. In school, I was always the person who no one liked. I was picked last for sports, if I was picked at all. I had my stuff stolen and I had to hide to keep from being beaten up.( pause ) I grew up hard and not liking anyone. (louder) I learned to hate people. I never mixed and lived for the day I would be on my own. (normal tone) As I grew up I worked constantly to be the smartest and the best to compensate for no one liking me. Except for my grades, I was invisible to those around me. (pause)

I graduated the top of my class in university with a business degree and enough ruthless desire to succeed for 10 people. I got a job and clawed my way to the top over the bodies of my coworkers. No one liked me and I didn't like myself. I made it to the top and ( pause and raises voice ) in one move, I lost it all. I lost it all. …. I lost my job, my money, and my future. (Pause and quieter, lowers head ). No one missed me of course. (raises head with eyes full of emotion) I began to drink to forget. (pause) Believe me, you don't forget. You just get drunk and when you wake up the pain is still there. I became desperate. I had little money and couldn't afford my uptown apartment so they kicked me out. I wandered the streets drinking and sleeping where I could. (pause) I was one of the bums you pass on the street. Funny thing was, that now I was more invisible than before. (long pause).

I couldn't take it anymore. I didn't want to live. No one cared about me and I didn't care about myself. I scammed a few bucks and rented a cheap run down hotel room. I got a bottle and some sleeping pills and locked myself in. ( pause ) I had made up my mind to die. I started to drink and got myself half way drunk. I flicked on the TV, which barely worked and started tearing up the room. I ripped open the chest of drawers and saw a New Testament. I had no use for God and didn't care anyway. (pause and raises voice) I grabbed the Testament and threw it across the room in a rage. Of all things to come across a book on religion. What use did I have for God?? (pause and quieter) As the book hit the wall it started to come apart. A piece of folded paper fell out. Most of the book was still together but my eyes fell to the piece of paper. ( pause and a little quieter and slower) I don't know why I picked up the piece of paper but it was like I was drawn to it. I took the paper and sat down on the bed. I opened up the folded paper and noticed it was a letter. (pause and a little louder).

Funny thing about this letter is it wasn't addressed to anyone. (pause and reaches into pocket) Here it is and this is part of the reason I'm here today. (pauses and looks around) It starts like this…… If you are reading this, than perhaps you are someone a lot like me. I came to this room to kill myself. I had nothing to live for. (pause and looks around with voice full of emotion). I couldn't put the letter down. I had to read on. (reads from the letter again). Who I am is not important. I came here with one thought, to end my life. I didn't care about my wife or kids anymore. I had driven them away. I had a gun and sat here for hours trying to get up the nerve to use it. There was no TV and nothing to read except this New Testament (holds up the Testament).

I still hadn't gotten up the nerve to kill myself so I looked at the Testament and noticed some people named Gideons had placed it in the hotel room. They had some verses listed in the book under headings like forgiveness, fear, pain and so on. I started looking up and reading some of the verses to pass the time. I looked up John 3:16 and stopped right there. The words jumped at me. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." I kept reading right through the book of John right to the end. I had heard about Jesus but never believed in Him. I looked at the gun and I looked at the book. I had to decide. Suddenly, I just cried out and threw the gun down. The last few pages in the book told me what I had to do to be saved. I read the sinner's prayer and prayed it. I can tell you that peace came to my troubled heart. After being up all night reading the Testament, I took the book and went home. I earned my family's love and forgiveness because they could see I had really changed and eventually they too became Christians and we became a real family. …. I still had the Testament and wondered how I could give something back to God. I had the idea to write this letter and take the book back to the hotel room, so I did. Now if you have read this letter, please stop and look over the Testament and read some of the sections. If you are here to die, I urge you to choose life and live like you have never lived before. Choose Christ. Choose life. God bless. (pause)

(Folds up the letter and puts it back in the pocket)

I read and reread this letter and I finally picked up the torn Testament off the floor and started reading. By now the booze was wearing off a little and it was 4 AM. (pause and holding up the Testament and more excited) I read that God would forgive me and that Jesus died for me so that I could get right with God! Can you believe that?! (pause) God loved me despite myself! I tell you nobody had really even cared whether I lived or died but God did and Jesus cared enough to die for someone he did not even know. I took the sleeping pills and flushed it and the rest of the booze down the toilet. (pause) I went back to the bed and picked up the Testament and turned to the back of the book to find the name of the man written there who had also written the letter. Like him, I read the instructions on how to be saved and I prayed the sinner's prayer. (pause and full of emotion looking at the people). How do I tell you and make you understand what this did for me? (pause) Here I am. I would have died that night, but here I am! God changed me. (pause)

(quieter) I took the Testament and the letter and found the Salvation Army place down the road. I met this guy who said he was a Christian and he helped me clean myself up and start a new life. (pause) Now, I go around and tell others my story. I put a new copy of the Gideon New Testament back in that room with a copy of this letter and a letter I wrote myself for the next person going there who may have reached the end of their rope. I pray that God will speak to that person's heart the way He has spoken to mine. (pause)

What else can I say? How can I add to what God says? (pause) I can add nothing except to say if you are here without God, if your life is empty, or you only live for the next temporary thrill, then you need God. God fills your life and gives you a real reason to live. God is the answer to what you and I need. I will pray for you. Please come up to the front and pray to God for help in your life.

(At this point the speaker is finished and sits down. This is a good time for someone to lead in an Invitation Song like "Just As I Am….")


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